Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 2009 - National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Month

Military Naturalization at Fort Bliss, EL Paso, TX

USCIS May 2009 - In honor of National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Month, the USCIS has gathered together short stories and photos celebrating new US Citizens serving in the US Armed Forces:
  • Why I Want to be a U.S. Citizen

  • Two Veterans of Iraq are New Citizens of the United States

  • Military Naturalization at Fort Bliss

  • Force Base Naturalization Ceremony

  • May is a Lucky Month for Navy Seaman

  • Military Outreach Takes USCIS to Mojave Desert

  • Team Meets With Unique Army Translator Unit

  • Los Angeles USCIS Employees Memorial Day Ceremony

  • Memorial Day Naturalization held at Bagram Air Field Afghanistan

  • Family Proudly Stands by as Soldier Becomes Citizen
For more info, see Information for Members of the Military and Their Families

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Statue of Liberty Observation Deck to Reopen

VOAVideo: Statue of Liberty Observation Deck to Reopen

The United States government has announced that tourists will once again be allowed to climb inside the Statue of Liberty -- all the way up to her famous crown. The small viewing deck has been closed ever since the September 11th terrorist attacks of 2001. Eight years later, on America's Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July), the crown observation deck will be re-opened to the public. Nathan King reports for VOA.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Obama announces Sotomayor nomination


C-SPAN/Salon: Obama announces Sotomayor nomination

The White House confirms to Salon that Obama's choice is Sonia Sotomayor. President Clinton appointed her to the 2nd Circuit in 1998. The 54-year-old New York judge would be the first Latino on the Supreme Court and the third woman.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

US Supreme Court Pick



VOAVideo: President Obama Ponders Choice for US Supreme Court

President Obama will have an opportunity few presidents get this early in their term, the chance to select a Supreme Court justice. Mr. Obama is reviewing potential choices over the Memorial Day holiday (May 25th) at the presidential retreat Camp David outside Washington. His advisers have been vetting possible candidates ever since Justice David Souter announced he will retire in June. VOA's Chris Simkins has more on the story.

UPDATE: The White House confirms to Salon that Obama's choice is Sonia Sotomayor. President Clinton appointed her to the 2nd Circuit in 1998. The 54-year-old New York judge would be the first Latino on the Supreme Court and the third woman. The first was Sandra Day O'Connor, now retired. The second is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Clinton and is still on the court. Video

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day: Vietnam Time Line



Memorial Day: Vietnam Time Line

Ngo Huu Phuc reads "The Vietnam Time Line" essay in honor of Memorial Day. Mr Ngo was a mechanic in the South Vietnam Air Force and is currently studying for US Citizenship at Milpitas Adult School.

You can find a copy of "The Vietnam Time Line" in HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL DAYS IN THE USA by Mary Glasgow, Scholastic Inc., 2001, ISBN 1-900702-59-2.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prepare for Memorial Day: EL Civics on YouTube



EL Civics: Memorial Day - Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery - One minute tour of Arlington, which is just outside of Washington, D.C. in Virginia. Shows the bridge over the Potomac River, graves of soldiers, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, JFK eternal flame, Robert E. Lee house, and more. About one minute long. Nice Memorial Day tribute to honor soldiers who died fighting in America's wars.

You can see all of El Civics videos produced by Christina Niven (tinkerbellchime) here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prepare for Memorial Day--ESL Holiday Lessons

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration
awarded in the name of the President
to those who have been wounded or killed with the U.S. military.

ESL Holiday Lessons.com: English Lesson Plan on Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday. It commemorates the American men and women who have died serving their country in the military.

DOWNLOADS: Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New US Citizen: Carmen Swenson



New US Citizen: Carmen Swenson
Carment Swenson talks about her US Citizenship Interview at Milpitas Adult School. Congratulations, Carmen, and thanks for the great pizza!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 19th CA Special Election

Gov. Schwarzenegger talking to the Commonwealth Club
about Proposition 1A

On Tuesday, May 19th, the voters in California will vote on a series of propostions aimed at resolving the current budget crisis.

Voter Information Guide for the May 19th Special Election

Descriptions of the Propositions in English

  • Proposition 1A: Stabilizes State Budget. Reforms California Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund.

  • Proposition 1B: Education Funding and Payment Plan.

  • Proposition 1C: Lottery Modernization Act.

  • Proposition 1D: Protects Children’s Services Funding. Helps Balance State Budget.

  • Proposition 1E: Ensures Funding for Children’s Mental Health Services. Helps Balance State Budget.

  • Proposition 1F: Elected Officials’ Salaries. Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Filipino-Amercan WWII Veterans

SJ Mercury News:
Filipino-Amercan WWII Vets

The passing of SB1315 ended a 63-year-old fight of Filipino-American Vets to regain full military VA benefits and recognition that was promised to them at the beginning of the war but later taken away by President Truman with the Recission Act of 1946 after the war. Click photo to see Slide Show


Dominador Valdez, 82, President of the Santa Clara County chapter of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans of WWII (photo: Gary Reyes/Mercury News)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work of National Importance 4: The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act



WhiteHouse.gov: A Call to Service: The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
In signing a landmark service bill, the President issues a nationwide call for citizens to deliver change in their own communities by signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Find the right opportunity for you, or tell us your story of service at http://www.whitehouse.gov/change .
(public domain)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Fellow Americans



WhiteHouse.gov: My Fellow Americans
May 1, the President and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano attended a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members in the East Room of the White House. May 1, 2009. (Public Domain)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Latino Town Hall at the White House


Asamblea Pública Sobre Virus H1N1

WhiteHouse.gov: Latino Town Hall: Full Video and Transcript

On Friday, May 8, 2009, the White House held a Spanish language town hall meeting to listen to the Hispanic community's concerns and inform the public about the government’s efforts to control the impact of the H1N1 virus.

El viernes llevamos a cabo algo que no se había hecho antes en la Casa Blanca, una asamblea pública en español cuyo propósito era permitirnos escuchar las inquietudes de la comunidad hispana e informar al público sobre los esfuerzos del gobierno para controlar el impacto del virus H1N1

Watch the full video of the first, read the full transcript in Spanish or the President's remarks in English. Includes video.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!


Mother's Day for Peace
Gloria Steinem, Vanessa Williams, Felicity Huffman, Fatma Saleh, Alfre Woodard, Ashraf Salimian, Christine Lahti and Mother's Day for Peace talk about the origin of Mother's Day by Julia Ward Howe as a protest against war. http://www.mothersdayforpeace.com/

VOANews: Mothers Through the Eyes, and the Years, of TV and Movie Makers Some examples of how the mothers created by Hollywood have become more independent.

ESL Holiday Lessons.com: Mothers Day
DOWNLOADS: Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Statue of Liberty’s Crown Will Reopen July 4

Photo by Todd Heisler/NYTimes

Statue of Liberty’s Crown Will Reopen July 4, By Sewell Chan, NYTimes 05/09/09

Statue of Liberty’s crown, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks, will reopen to the public on July 4, the White House announced on Friday morning.
WhiteHouse.gov Blog: To the Crown
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announces that starting July 4th, the crown of the Statue of Liberty will be open to visitors again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Work of National Importance 3: Red Cross and Red Crescent Day


"Together for humanity
International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies

If the law requires it, are you willing to do
work of national importance under civilian direction?

One of the last questions of the N-400 section of the USCIS Naturalization Interview asks if the new citizen will help during an emergency. The American Red Cross (and the Red Crescent), provide direct relief to victims of disaster. The American Red Crosshas disaster preparedness materials in a variety languages.

ESL Holiday Lessons: Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

The 8th of May is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. It is on this day because this is the date of birth of the founder of the Red Cross Henry Dunant. He got the first ever Nobel Peace Prize. Red Cross Day was celebrated for the first time in 1948. . .

DOWNLOADS: Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

Thursday, May 7, 2009

American Students Compete For Constitution Championship



VOAVideo: American Students Compete For Constitution Championship

Several hundred high school students are in Washington, testing their knowledge of the United States Constitution in the final round of a nationwide competition. The competition, called "We the People," refers to the opening line of the U.S. Constitution. It involves simulated congressional hearings where teams of students serve as expert witnesses. The students are questioned on their knowledge of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and are scored by judges.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Work of National Importance 2: Young Americans Serve in Successor of Roosevelt-Era Program

Work of National Importance under Civilian Direction....,

VOAVideo: Young Americans Serve in Successor of Roosevelt-Era Program

President Obama made national service a theme of his campaign. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which he signed on Tuesday, expands current AmeriCorps programs for Americans who wish to serve. These offer opportunities for people of all ages. One puts about 1100 18 to 24-year-olds to work on a variety of community service projects. The National Civilian Community Corps was inspired by a program created 75 years ago, during the Great Depression.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Although Cinco de Mayo is not national holiday in Mexico, many Mexican-Americans and their friends celebrate Latino culture on this day. On the Sunday before Cinco de Mayo, there is a HUGE parade and fiesta in downtown San Jose, and there also is a school holiday in Milpitas on the first Monday in May.

ESL Holiday Lessons: Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican celebration that remembers a military victory against the French on May 5, 1862.
DOWNLOADS: Word Doc PDF MP3 Listening Online Exercise

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bust of Sojourner Truth, Former Slave, Unveiled at U.S. Capitol

Bust of Sojourner Truth, Former Slave, Unveiled at U.S. Capitol

Democratic and Republican leaders gathered at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to unveil a sculpture of the famous 19th century abolitionist and former slave Sojourner Truth. Truth, considered a crusader for women's rights as well, is the first black woman to be honored with a bust at the U.S. Capitol.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

National Kite Festival on National Mall Announces Spring in Washignton, DC



V OAVideo: National Kite Festival on National Mall Announces Spring in Washignton, DC

Among the annual traditions which mark the arrival of spring in Washington is the Smithsonian Kite Festival. On a Saturday in early spring, kites fly over The National Mall in a place close to the Washington Monument. VOA's Ernest Leong reports on the festival, where imagination soared as high as the kites.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The White House Reimagined



What if the the ultimate architectural symbol of political power were to be designed today? Submissions to the White House Redux design competition depicted wildly different ideas. Related Article Also: whitehouseredux.org/

Friday, May 1, 2009

NYTimes: The Obama Administration and Congress

NYTimes: The Obama Administration and Congress
This White House has more alumni of Congress than any in recent memory. They're learning how to exert their power on Capitol Hill. Video.